Maryland Fire Truck Crash Kills One

FREDERICK -- A Frederick woman was killed in a collision with a fire truck early Wednesday, three weeks after her 22nd birthday, Maryland State Police said.

Shannon Boone died as she was headed for work as a cashier at the Evergreen Point Exxon in Frederick and Fort Detrick firefighters were responding to help with a townhouse blaze in Discovery off of Md. 194.

An investigation under way Wednesday found that Ms. Boone was driving west on Md. 26 and the fire truck was eastbound when the crash occurred at 12:08 a.m. at the intersection with Md. 194, police said.

The fire truck needed to turn north at the intersection to get to the fire on Revelation Avenue.

As Troopers First Class John Sexton and Austin Fogle reconstructed the crash, it was unclear which driver had the green light at the intersection, police said.

Wednesday afternoon, authorities at the U.S. Army base expressed sorrow over the woman's death.

"Our heartfelt sympathies go out to her family at this tragic time," said Maj. Gen. Lester Martinez-Lopez, commanding general of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and Fort Detrick.

"We at Fort Detrick are available to assist the family in any way we can," said Col. John E. Ball, garrison commander.

The fatal crash, the first involving a Frederick County emergency vehicle in years, shut down traffic at the intersection for hours, police said.

In August 2000, a Virginia woman was killed when a fire truck collided with an SUV on U.S. 15 at Mountville Road near Adamstown.

Although Ms. Boone was restrained by lap and shoulder belts when the crash occurred, the impact with the fire truck crushed her 1997 Pontiac Grand Am. Police said she was dead at the scene.

Four federal firefighters aboard the truck were treated and released from Frederick Memorial Hospital, said Chris Devine, Detrick public affairs officer.

Police identified them as Brian Wheeler, 34, of Fairfield, Pa., Ken Wallech Jr., 31, of Greencastle, Pa., Kim Anderson, 52, of Williamsport, and Terrence Hood, 50, of Middletown.

The driver, Jerry Dorsey, 35, of Frederick, remained hospitalized for further treatment. "Considering what happened, he's not doing too good," Mr. Devine said.

Claire Dunleavy, a dayshift cashier at the Exxon, said Ms. Boone was on her way to work the midnight shift when the crash occurred.

"It's so sad. I was friends with her. Everyone was. It doesn't even seem like it happened," Ms. Dunleavy said.

The investigation into the fire, reported at 12:01 a.m., remained open Wednesday as well as firefighters had to return for a flare-up about 6 a.m. that caused damage to the adjacent townhouse.

The preliminary cause was listed as accidental, caused by an electrical appliance in a second-floor bedroom, deputies with the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office said.

"We cleared the fire about 3 a.m. but were redispatched about 6 a.m.," said Jeremy Peterson, chief of the Walkersville Volunteer Fire Department.

Deputies estimated damage to the townhouse at 8344 Revelation Ave. at $125,000.

Damage to the neighbor's home at 8342 Revelation "was minor, primarily to the roof," Chief Peterson said.